Hearts manager Paulo Sergio has revealed Kevin Kyle could face another operation on his injured hip.
The 30-year-old Scotland striker, who has not played since January, inflamed his hip while doing a stretching exercise during his rehabilitation.
Kyle is in the final year of his contract and has previously expressed fears about his playing future.
"He went to Paris to see a specialist and people are talking about the possibility of new surgery," said Sergio.
"It's going to be a very hard season for him.
"I hope he's going to be strong enough to handle all those difficulties. We are here to help him.
"If we're talking about new surgery it's hard to have a clue how he can return to practice."